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DNA test determines Mystic Aquarium penguin chicks are girls

By Joe Wojtas

Publication: theday.com

Published June 06. 2013 4:00PM   Updated June 07. 2013 12:19AM
Tim Cook/The Day
Schoolchildren and families get a close-up look at Purple Red and Purple Gray, the Mystic Aquarium's 4-month-old African penguin chicks during a brief celebration announcing the gender of the chicks at the aquarium Thursday, June 6, 2013. It turns out that both chicks are females, their gender being determined in a DNA test.

Mystic — Mystic Aquarium announced Thursday morning that its two baby African penguin chicks are females.

The genders of Purple Red and Purple Gray were determined by DNA testing because males and females do not differ in appearance.

The penguins, which are an endangered species, are named by colored beads attached to their flippers that represent numbers. As the 50th and 51st penguins to enter the aquarium’s colony, purple represents the number five, red represents the number zero and gray represents the number one.

On Thursday, they each received a pink bead to identify them as females.

The aquarium said the 4-month-old chicks are now weaned and acclimated to the other 26 adult penguins in its collection.

During Thursday’s announcement, the chicks’ fathers, Red Green and Gray Silver, made paintings with their feet for each chick in honor of the occasion.

Purple Red hatched on Feb. 1 and Purple Gray hatched on Feb. 10.

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